Gypsy Music

One of the…interesting things about being in Rome and wearing a clerical collar is the fact that I get asked approximately 10 times a day for money. They see the collar, they see €uro signs.* Anyhow, a fair number of the people who ask are gypsies.

Gypsies have a number of very interesting cultural peculiarities – and no, whatever they portray on that trashy new gypsy show on American television doesn’t really reflect the reality of things, at least in terms of European gypsies. I won’t go much into it here; suffice to say (and this is my point), they have a very rich musical tradition.

Gypsies wait for their turn to use the church for a wedding in Trnava, Slovakia (a photo I took in 2004). That little kid could really play!

Whether it’s because it’s Wednesday, or due to my recent irregular sleep patterns, or the classes that I had this morning – or all of the above – it seems like a good day to listen to some edgy, high-energy classical music. So here you go: the “Gypsy-Style Rondo” from Brahms’ First Piano Quartet (opus 25). It captures well the “gypsy genre”, is energetic, and seems appropriate for today!

(If classical music isn’t your thing, or you otherwise get impatient with it, at least skip ahead to the last two minutes – starting at about 6:40 – and enjoy the ending.)

* Only once, that I can recall, has anyone here ever asked me for a blessing. And it wasn’t even a homeless or beggar type; it was just some Italian guy who was with his friend and I think he asked half-mockingly. When I traced a cross on his forehead – which, it turns out, is not really the way that any priest gives blessings here – he had no idea what I had done and was quite perplexed!

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9 Responses to Gypsy Music

  1. bob says:

    OK Father, time for reconciliation. That was bait and switch. I thought I was going to gypsies do Brahms and then I said that looks a lot like YoYo Ma and it was. I am certain the gypsies are very good, but these were definitely the pros. The best of the best, Thanks for sharing

  2. Patrick L. says:

    I almost asked a priest in an airport for a blessing, but I thought it might be bit uncouth, so I decided against it. It also crossed my mind that things might get a little dicey if he was Greek Orthodox or SSPX or something. If such was the case, I would’ve had to step aside for a moment to work with the Googles on whether such a blessing would be valid, illicit, a sacrilege, or what. By the time we got it hashed it out, he probably would’ve already boarded his flight and been on his way

  3. hashtagcatholic says:

    When I go to Rome, I’m going to ask all the Catholic priests wearing their collars that I see for a blessing.

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